What is gnocchi alla romana?

Gnocchi alla Romana is a Roman-style gnocchi made with semolina. In the first step, you cook the semolina in a pot on the stove with milk and cheese, then rolled flat, cut into disks, sprinkled with grated cheese and baked in the oven.

I first cooked gnocchi alla Romana from my Ottolenghi Simple book and loved it. A simple comforting Italian dish made with semolina, cheese, milk and eggs. I tweaked the gnocchi recipe and make it with oat milk. Gnocchi alla Romana is perfect served with a simple tomato sauce and side salad.

What is traditional gnocchi?

Most people would think of Gnocchi as the little Italian dumpling usually made from cooked potato and flour. Then rolled and cut into bite-size pieces that resemble small pillows, and thrown into a large pot of boiling water to be cooked so they are light and fluffy.

Takes = 30mins plus 2 hours chilling.
Makes = 4 serves starter (2 generous main with leftovers)
Bakes = 25 mins

Ingredients

  • Milk or oat milk (works) – 500ml (2 cups)
  • Semolina fine – 125g
  • Unsalted butter – 40g
  • Grated Parmesan cheese – 50g
  • Nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
  • Grated mature cheddar – 30g
  • Egg yolk – 1

Method

  1. HEAT and melt butter, pour in the milk, then add salt and pepper. Once it is simmering remove from the heat and whisk in the semolina, nutmeg, parmesan and 1 egg yolk.
  2. RETURN to the stove and stir continually on a medium heat until thick 3-4 minutes and it starts to pull away from the sides, do not rush this step as the mixture needs to be really thick.
  3. COOL 15 mins (no longer) on the bench top.
  4. CUT one piece of cling film/ plastic wrap
  5. FORM sausage 4cm thick and 38cm long
  6. ROLL up and chill in the fridge for two hours.
  7. ONCE set remove the plastic and cut into 1.5cm thick slices.
  8. ARRANGE on your baking dish, add grated cheddar and some extra parmesan if desired.
  9. BAKE for 15 mins at 180˚C fan
  10. GRILL 10cm under the grill and brown for another 2 to 3 mins.
  11. REST for 5 mins before serving.